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Just Five Games For A Year?

Naithin challenged his readers to pick five games to play for an entire year. I really liked this idea, mostly because I always said I only need a handful of games to play. Can I still name five?

The Rules

The rules as stated by Naithin. This is a direct c/p.

  1. The consequence for playing a 6th title?
    Playing anything outside of your pre-selected five titles will result in any gaming device you touch spontaneously combusting. (Ooooh, Spooky! Halloween ya’ll!)
  2. Selections aren’t limited to a single platform
    So if you wish to select some Switch titles, some PC, some PS4 etc — this is OK.
  3. All DLC for a given game is fine and included within your pick
    As the original tweet, all DLC for a game included. I will further specify, that this could be unreleased DLC at the time of making your selection.
  4. Mods (even Total Conversions) are also OK
    But they can’t rely on the assets of a game you haven’t selected to work. (e.g., The Skyrim TCs for Morrowind and Oblivion require the original assets.)
  5. For a series of games, each entry is an individual selection.
    If you want Dark Souls I, II and III — that’s three of your five picks.

My five games

Guild Wars 2

This should come to no surprise to anyone. I still have a love/hate relationship with the game and I have no idea where it’s headed with the last big announcement of the Icebrood Saga.

I’m still playing now, almost daily since I go to bed later, but I often find myself logging off pretty quickly. I really hope I’ll find a real goal soon that doesn’t seem too far off.

Stardew Valley (Switch Edition)

I love playing Stardew Valley on the Switch. It’s right next to me as I write this, even. It’s a moment of relaxation where I don’t have to worry about anything, just the season change.

In my current save, I’m in year three. I passed grandpa’s evaluation with four candles, so now I can focus on the other quest lines

Pokemon Sword

Yes, I picked an unreleased game. I know I can play Pokemon all year and not be satisfied with the team I have. Ever since I’ve seen Wooloo, I’ve been determined to beat the league with an all Wooloo team. I have no idea if it’s possible or not, but I’ll have to train hard.

League of Legends

This is still one of the games that I find hard to uninstall. It’s also one of the few I’ll install right away with a new setup.

League of Legends isn’t a game I’ll play daily. I don’t have to. It’s a game I’ll drop in, play a few matches of ARAM and be done with it for a while. My hands don’t really like the fast action of LoL, especially during the colder months.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

The game I want to finish. I’ve got about 40 hours in and I know I still have a long way to go, especially if I want to do all of the side quests. When I’m done I can still replay it with different choices. I’d even try to get all the achievements.

These are my five games. Which ones will you choose?

Guild Wars 2: Getting Back Into The Game

Last Friday was a big announcement regarding Guild Wars 2 future. I already knew there would be a season 5 of the Living World story before another expansion. Maybe there would be a sixth. So while I was secretly hoping they would say anything about an expansion, they only talked about the immediate future and season 5.

No season 5, new saga

They explicitly stated there wouldn’t be a season 5 as we got to know in the previous Living World updates. They call them sagas now, saying the updates will be more diverse, probably most like season 1 of the Living world. Smaller events changed the existing world of Tyria permanently, while saving the story heavy stuff for the major releases.

Icebrood Saga

I’m super excited for the Norn and Charr focused story in the Icebrood Saga. If you hadn’t noticed, I write fanfiction (see sidebar), and my main story arc is about five Charr cubs. Diving more into the Charr culture might inspire me to create more and better stories around these five characters.

We’re getting a prologue in a couple of weeks and at least two episodes of large story content. They added strike missions: 10 people boss encounters, or ‘soft raids’. This is the low entry raid for casuals (like me), to experience a big boss battle with a more or less organized group.

I’m going to try it, of course, but no idea if I’ll enjoy it.

They also mentioned new masteries, following the spirits of the wild, from the Norn culture. Raven is the first one and they already released some info on its abilities. I’m curious how far they’ll go with it. Will each spirit get a full mastery line, or is it one line with multiple spirits? I’m curious.

Hardcore causal

I’m a casual player, never done a raid, or a fractal above 20. I don’t get a kick out of extremely hard content. I don’t have the time to invest in micromanagement of my characters. (I still don’t have a full set of ascended armor/weapons.)

Am I lazy? No, not really. I do the things I enjoy the most. Walking around, get lost, jump into dynamic events, listen to the ambient chatter of NPCs. I’m not active on the trade market. I rarely buy, only sell things I don’t need.

I only finished War Eternal a few days ago. As a story nerd and someone who writes stories about the world of Tyria, this is a big deal. I haven’t played the Living World updates as they were released. The internet spoiled most of the experience (which I knew would happen), but being able to play them without interruption of a couple of months was great.

I’m looking forward to more lore, stories, and zones to explore. I’m excited about playing again. Maybe I’ll finally manage to craft a legendary.

The Scarred King by Rose Foreman & Josh Foreman – Spotlight

Today I want to do something different. Instead of talking about me and what’s been going on in my life, I want to give the spotlight to someone else. Josh Foreman. If you’re part of the Guild Wars 2 community, you’ll probably know this name and have experienced his work in-game.

His latest adventure is the release of his first book, co-written with Rose Foreman, his mother. The Scarred King: Exile is book one of three and part of the larger Tales of Talifar series. The story follows Bowmark on his journey to claim the throne.

He’s creating a new world, Talifar, through his stories. His experience as a game designer is definitely helpful and seeing work on the map was inspiring. (I still have to make a map of Lunis Aquaria.) He has information on new races and the areas on his site, and I suspect more will be added soon. Read his conceptual ideas to find out more.

On one of his recent streams, he mentioned that there are eleven books in the making for the overall series and I suspect more are coming. This is just the beginning. Josh has big ideas, which includes a game among others.

If you like fantasy adventure stories, check out The Scarred King and follow Josh on Twitter and Amazon. You can buy the ebook and the paperback on Amazon now.

Anno 1800 Closed Beta Thoughts

My friend John asked if I wanted to have an invite to the Anno 1800 closed beta. Of course I accepted. I’ve only played Anno 1404 and Anno 2070 before for a few hours so I was curious if this one would hold my attention longer.

I’m by no means an advanced or expert player. I try to be efficient but I have no idea what routes people take and what the influence of a building does for the surrounding buildings. I’m still in a stage that I’m figuring things out, but I’m not a complete beginner.

I didn’t play multiplayer even though it was available for this weekend and I think I might enjoy it more playing it together with someone. We can share information and trade resources we don’t have on our islands.

One of my factories blew up a few times and it set the surrounding buildings on fire. I highly recommend building a fire station nearby so they can keep those fires in check. The chance of injuries and fires increases if you up the working pressure. I haven’t tried letting my inhabitants work under inhuman conditions

Playing Anno 1800 gave me the same feeling as when I play Civilization. I didn’t think about the time that I played, I just wanted to keep improving my cities, set up trade routes and build the necessary resources.

I liked what I played so far, but I doubt I’ll buy the game full price. The limited gaming time that I have should go to games I already have and enjoy. Maybe, when I’m absolutely sure and have someone to play with, I’ll get it. But for now, I’m holding off.

Crushing Goals in 2019

Happy new year everyone! It’s that time of the year again when everyone and their mother are talking about resolutions and goals. But I just want to talk about goals.

I feel that resolutions are there to be broken while goals are there to achieve. I’m still working on my 101 goals in 1001 days and since I haven’t done all of those yet, those are the goals I’ll be working on this year

I’m going to complete a handful of these in November when we’re going on our Tokyo trip. With that trip I can thick off the ‘Vacation Abroad’, ‘Visit Tokyo’, and ‘Sing Karaoke’ goals. We’ll try out new restaurants, new foods, I’ll practice my Japanese (I’m still learning!) and maybe even buy a Instax camera to make beautiful memories.

This year I’ll be blogging about my preparations for this trip, sharing the content I find helpful in preparing for the biggest adventure this year. I’ve traveled to far away lands before, but this is the first time that I’ll be the one doing the planning and learning a new language to make the trip a little easier

I’m not a travel blog and won’t ever be, but Japan has a special place in my heart and I’ll share those sentiments with you soon. But first, more goals.

My goal is to read 45 books this year and I hope to finish a large bunch of the books you have recommended as well. The hardest part will be obtaining a copy of all of those books. I have limited funds and my library doesn’t have most of them. The Book Exchange in Amsterdam might have copies of the older books, but only if someone sold it to them recently.

Learning hangul will also be one of my active goals. I’ve dedicated a notebook to learning hiragana and katakana, so I might just as well add hangul to that, right?

My writing goals will be up on Narratess on Friday, but I don’t only want to spend time writing this year. I want to actively work on my craft. Brandon Sanderson has a course on writing on Youtube and I picked it as my free online course to take. It’s time I start watching them and apply the new knowledge in my writing

Cooking will happen. It’s about time I picked a cook book and make those recipes, right? Right.

I’ll soon do a post about what games I played for my goals. There are a few that I want to talk about and what I’m going to do this year. Stay tuned!

So I went bowling…

My aunt turned 50 and she invited us for an hour of bowling with dinner afterwards. She’s my favourite aunt, so I really didn’t want to skip on celebrating with her. But I also knew that bowling is high risk for me.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve got hypermobility syndrome (HMS). My joints are more susceptible to dislocation or subluxation and certain movements, impact or weight will affect me in a bad way.

Holding a 3 KG bowling ball with three fingers, swinging it and then hoping my fingers won’t be stuck in it, isn’t a good way to spend my time. But I really, really wanted to take part. I haven’t done much fun activities outside of the house in a while, and this was a good opportunity to take up a different perspective.

After having dealt with chronic pain for nearly a decade, I’ve grown tired of having my pain dictate my life. In my 101 goals, I’ve actively decided to do things that I wouldn’t have done before. I could’ve added bowling, but didn’t since I didn’t see it as something I *had* to do.

Yesterday I decided I would bowl, no matter what. Well, except maybe a dislocated joint.

I was smart enough to bring my wrist brace and I wore it after my first round. Throwing those first two balls was already an attack on my wrist muscled and the brace gave me the support I needed.

My score wasn’t great, but I didn’t expect it to be. I thought I was going to be the loser, but I did fairly well and my score wasn’t that much off from my mom and sister. My score was much better than I thought it would be.

And that’s a personal victory for me. I bowled for an hour without serious injuries, just some muscle aches which will disappear in a few days. I had fun and I didn’t let my situation tell me how to live my life. It felt great and I hope this change in mindset will help me the coming years in taking back control.

Blaugust Reflection

Today is the last day of Blaugust. A few days before August began, I had an itch. An itch that needed to be scratched. I wanted to write about games again. Other things that interested me besides books, reviews and writing. I knew I had another blog (this one) and it was the perfect place for the creative outlet that I needed.

My new laptop also arrived around that time. I could develop a new work routine and had to get used to a new keyboard. My laptop is a normal 15,4″ Acer and I used to work on a 10,1″ convertible tablet. The big screen is definitely motivating me to write more. It’s easier to see everything (I’m getting old) and my eyes don’t tire as fast.

The first week I wrote five blogs in one day. I was excited. The discord was filled with activity and ideas started pouring in. Making drafts was the easiest thing to do to keep track of all my post ideas. I could just pick one of my drafts, write it and schedule it for whenever I didn’t have a post ready. This blog used to have memes on specific days, but I stepped away from that for Blaugust. And besides blogging here, I still had the weekly blog on Narratess.

Overall I’ve written a lot, 36 blog posts and I’ve done writing and editing for my fiction as well. I’ve grown my Twitter following, and followers for both blogs. Going forward I’ll still stick my one post on Narratess and I hope to at least post once a week here as well. I want to use the rest of my writing energy to fix my short stories and work on my first draft. I’ll keep reading everyone’s blog which should become more manageable when there aren’t 80 new posts every day.

Thank you everyone for all the beautiful posts, interactions, and help that I’ve received. I hope that I can keep contributing to our amazing blogging community.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Reading All The Books

In one of my earlier posts I asked for recommendations for books and movies and you’ve given me a ton! I’ve made a list of the twenty books that I’m going to read for this goal. The other books I’ll add to my general to-read list, which I’ll read whenever I find the time and have access to the book.

I only have 28 movies so far (not shows, just movies) so if you have any recommendations beyond these, please let me know. I also know there are a handful of movies that I probably won’t like and maybe a few that I won’t be able to find since they’re old. I’ve also added the years to the movies as a reference point. If I have the wrong movie, do let me know as well, since I wasn’t sure about a few.

I want to thank everyone who’s recommended me books and/or movies. I really appreciate that you took the time to share the books/movies you love. I hope I can help spread that love as well.

Books

  • The Siren by Kiera Cass
  • Bloody Jack by L. A. Meyer
  • Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara
  • East by Edith Pattou
  • It by Stephen King
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
  • Borne by Jeff Vandermeer
  • Sabriel by Garth Nix
  • Off To Be The Wizard by Scott Meyer
  • Alif The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
  • Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
  • Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
  • Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • The Guernsey Literature and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
  • The Four by Scott Galloway
  • Weaveworld by Clive Barker
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons
  • We Are Legion by Dennis E. Taylor

Movies

  • 5 to 7 (2014) (already watched this one, liked it very much)
  • Primer (2004)
  • The Guernsey Literature and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)
  • Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997)
  • Pirates (2014)
  • The Princess Bride (1987)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 (2017)
  • Black Panther (2018)
  • A Silent Voice (2016)
  • HAL (2003)
  • Interstellar (2014)
  • Inception (2010)
  • Le fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain (2001)
  • Network (1976)
  • Kelly’s Heroes (1970)
  • Moon (2009)
  • Hawk The Slayer (1980)
  • The Sword And The Sorcerer (1982)

Things I Miss In The Sims 4

I’ve been playing The Sims 4 lately and there are a few things that I don’t like. I already expected the dozen expansion packs, stuff packs, thematic packs. They know where to milk the money. But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about things that aren’t related to money.

The Design Tool (The Sims 3)

I miss being able to edit outfits and furniture and give them the colours and textures that I want them to have. The customization options were much more expansive and that allowed me to really create my sim and my house. Even the hair colour options are very limited. I used to create my sim with crazy hair colours, mix high lights, low lights and the main colour to create amazing colourful haircuts. That’s something I can’t do any more. It’s harder to match items with each other from other sets as well. There is no guarantee that the colour is the right colour to match with something else. 

Sultans of Bling by Kate. An actual floating house.

Community Mods (The Sims 3)

I remember that I downloaded hundreds of custom made items from the community. The modding community was the best. I could browse for days just to get the right dress, haircut or house. There were some amazing houses. In The Sims 3 the modding community was accessible in game. It was way easier since everything was automatically added to the game. That was a great way to manage all the items. I know that I added several gigabytes to The Sims 2 and it actually took half an hour longer to start the game. I needed to cut down my downloaded assets, but it was hard to see which ones I could

Building lots (The Sims 2)

I have the feeling that there aren’t as much places to build as in the previous games, especially if you haven’t bought any expansion packs. Even the newer areas have limited lots due to all the commercial lots.

I used to have a choice of fifteen or more lots in different sizes. Now my options are limited. I don’t know if this has anything to do with the ‘open world’ feeling that started in The Sims 3 or not, but even these ‘neighbourhoods’ feel small and limited. It doesn’t excite me. I’d either want the system of the old Sims (The Sims 1 and 2) or The Sims 3. This halfway thing isn’t great.

Songs of Desire

Last night I realized that nearly all Disney musical movies have a song of desire in them. These songs appear early in the movie and paint the desires of our hero(in). You know where the protagonist comes from, what they are struggling with and what they desire. The whole movie focuses on trying to attain that desire. And sometimes they figure out that what they truly want is actually something totally different. Or that they should take a different approach in getting it.

It’s a good mechanism for showing character development. It’s also a very easy way. Disney movies are aimed at a young audience, so that makes sense. But it’s something you can learn from when you’re working with stories. It’s important to know early on what’s going on in the protagonist’s life, what their obstacles are and what they want.

I made a quick playlist on Spotify for this collection of Disney songs. I don’t know if I have all of them, but I know most of them are in there. If you think there’s one that needs to be on the list, let me know in the comments below.

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Guild Wars 2 Fiction

Miira Lightbringer:
Fried Moa Steak
Quiet Before the Storm

Young Miira:
Tail Tugging Part 1
A Promise Made Part 2
Night Falls Part 3
Grawling Preparations Part 4
Badazar Incarnated Part 5
Graduation Part 6 - Final

Savyrius Belain:
We Meet Again...

Naella Ysangwan:
Dogs and Ogres

The Scarred King by Rose Foreman & Josh Foreman

Play with me!

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